Galveston is an island city on the Gulf Coast of Texas. It’s known for Moody Gardens, where giant glass pyramids house sharks, monkeys and other animals. Amusement rides and restaurants line Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier on the south shore. West is bird-rich Galveston Island State Park, with its trails, kayak launches and fishing spots. Stewart Beach and East Beach are on the island’s eastern end.
Galveston is part Southern, part Texan, abloom with towering oleanders of every colour and has more history and stories than cities 20 times its size. Part of what is entrancing about Galveston is that it is so much a town in its own right, and it always has been. Even today, many residents refer to it as “The Republic of Galveston Island” because it is so unlike the rest of Texas.
Everything is bigger in Texas and in the nineteenth century, everything in Texas was done first in Galveston. Incorporated in 1839, Galveston quickly became the most active port west of New Orleans and the largest city in the state. This exciting and sophisticated city built the state’s first post office, first opera house, first hospital, first golf course, first country club…the list goes on and on.
Shops and restaurants fill 19th-century buildings in The Strand Historic District in the north of the island. Nearby, the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum is a retired rig displaying exhibits about the offshore oil industry. The centre of Galveston contains grand mansions, including the Moody Mansion, now a museum with the Galveston Children's Museum on the ground floor. Close by, the Grand 1894 Opera House stages plays and musicals. Across the Galveston Channel is Pelican Island, where Seawolf Park is home to the USS Cavalla submarine and USS Stewart naval destroyer escort.
• Moody Gardens
• Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
• Galveston Island State Park
• Bishop’s Palace
• Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston
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